Home buyers in the US will have the chance to buy homes equipped with the latest computer networking technology, following a teaming between giants IBM and Bell Atlantic.
IBM and Bell Atlantic plan to work with home builders to equip houses with devices that will let owners link PCs and consumer electronics devices via low cost networks. Initially the service will be available on the east coast of America.
This year the companies plan to wire as many as 15,000 so called ?smart? homes. Owners will be able to link PCs with each other and to consumer devices such as videos as well as share Internet connections across multiple phone lines, the companies said.
They will also be able to monitor heating and lighting, for example, remotely. The networks will cost from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the networking capabilities required.
IBM will supply the research and technology to Bell Atlantic?s construction unit, which will wire the homes. IBM said it is also developing computer software that will run on the networks, including a home management application.
Later in the year the two companies plan to offer a ?retrofitting? home networking service for existing houses.
Analysts believe that the strong IBM and Bell Atlantic branding will help push the trend for home networking. According to research group Media Metrix, around 4.8 per cent of homes in the US are currently networked.
The building industry believes that it will not be long before having a home network will mean the difference in selling a house quickly or not.
?It really is taking off and pretty soon people are going put networking capabilities as a high priority on their house buying list,? Gary Davidson, of cabling company Sound Connection in Colorado, told 'Newswire'.
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